Audacity to Tell My Story
There's a larger story - the one still locked behind prison bars, both figuratively and literally. I want to find that kind of audacity - the audacity to tell my story.
It's 3:30AM. I've been lying awake trying to ignore the chatter of my brain. It won't shut up. The only thing I can do is to let it have its way so I can move on. I don't want another day like yesterday where efforts to stifle my emotion ends with me freaking out over less consequential matters. I know I've been stifling when I hear myself saying, "Why can't people just do their job right?" or "How many times do I have to explain the same thing over and over?"
When I'm in a healthy state of mind, I don't tend to fret over my day job. If I'm blowing steam over my day job, it's usually a sign something else is amiss. It finds me redirecting frustration at imaginary targets because I can't hit the real one. Now I'm awake in the middle of the night and the only solution is to bullseye so I can purge the day.
I put a few drops of German chamomile and lavender essential oil in my diffuser and I'm sipping away on Sleepy Time Honey tea which means there is a high chance I will fall asleep before the purge is truly complete. I'm okay with it.
I fielded a phone call from an assistant television producer in London yesterday. That's what I did on my lunch break. She wanted to speak to me about participating in an episode of a TV series that would air on the Investigation Discovery Channel or something like that. It's not a series that currently exists but a new commission her group received for which they are currently hunting down stories. The focus is on small-town investigative stories. She came across the Danny Paquette case on some sort of telnet and felt "my story had not been accurately told."
We chatted for about 30 minutes. It's the same conversation almost every time one of these shows contacts me - Paula Zahn, 48 Hours, Cold Case Files, blah blah blah. I can't remember all of them now but the conversations are almost always identical. The only difference with this one was that the call was spiced up with a UK accent and Beth sounded indifferent. She didn't try to pretend that the show was going to change lives or provide answers to questions never before posited. She presented an uninflated disposition and actually sounded bored. I got the impression that even though she found the case compelling, its storytelling had become a bit stale - which I completely agree.
I don't mean that the actual story hasn't had a massive impact on my life. I mean that the story has already been covered many times, all with the same set of characters agreeing or declining to participate. Always, I am in the declining category. I can never find a compelling reason to participate.
First, who watches these types of shows? I've watched one or two and find them quite painful. The dramatic voice-overs with creepy music cued in at just the right moment. It's so cheesy - so dramatized. It doesn't at all represent the reality of the true experience. Perhaps I don't feel a need to watch this type of programming because I lived it? I don't know. What I do know is the productions never represent reality - not the one I lived anyway.
I could bore myself with the details of our conversation. I'm more interested in understanding why the experience knocks me off-center. Why do I come away from the conversations feeling so frustrated? Perhaps its the frustration of watching the whole thing unfold again without any control. Like a rerun - if I do not engage, I am left powerless. I lose my voice. I sink into the dark depths of silence - same as it ever was.
Perhaps it's knowing that there is so little value in telling the story the way TV wants to tell it. There's a larger story - the one still locked behind prison bars, both figuratively and literally.
Or maybe some of my frustration is wondering where these people find the audacity to tell a story of which they know nothing. How does one do that? I want to find that kind of audacity - the audacity to tell my story without worrying how its telling is intertwined with the telling of others.